EFL Suspension League One

On Friday morning the EFL suspended all games until April 4th at the earliest because of Covid-19.

As a consequence of mounting pressure on the organisation, the EFL has come to the decision to suspend all fixtures for at least the next three weeks.

This means that Rotherham United’s trip to Fleetwood Town and home games against Southend United and Gillingham have all been postponed until further notice.

The Millers’ first game back after the league suspension is due to be their away game at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday April 4th. But you should expect this to change in the coming weeks as the threat of the pandemic develops.

Earlier today the EFL released an official statement which stated:

“The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.

This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of Clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the COVID-19 virus.

The postponements include all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all Academy and youth team fixtures.

In addition, clubs are being advised to suspend indefinitely all non-essential activities which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.”

Frustration for fans but the obvious decision for public safety

Today’s decision from the EFL will no doubt come to the frustration of football fans up and down the country. We are reaching the point in the season where everything is heating up as we wait to see which teams go up and go down from their respective leagues.

In Rotherham’s case, they are in the middle of an extremely close League One promotion battle. Paul Warne’s side sit 2nd in the table with teams circling around them. Currently there is just three points separating the Millers in second and Wycombe in eighth position.

Fans are desperate to see where their teams will end up, so it is understandable that the EFL have taken time to come to their verdict given the potential consequences.

They have come to the right verdict in the end and this should not really be up for debate. Sporting events and gatherings have been postponed all over the world and the risk that keeping fixtures going creates is far too strong.

Cases of Covid-19 in the UK has increased more in recent days and there have already been reports of players and managers testing positive for the virus. As recently as Thursday night, it was confirmed that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea attacker Callum Hudson-Odoi had caught the virus.

When you look at the evidence, it is highly likely that Arteta, Hudson-Odoi, and anyone of a similar age and health will be able to recover from it. But the big worry with the pandemic is how much it is allowed to spread.

People of all ages, backgrounds and health attend football games. It goes without saying that the risk of the virus spreading increases immensely if games continue, especially with fans in attendance. Also certain fans will be at greater risk of suffering more harshly from the virus than others.

None of us want our day to day lives to be disrupted, and this includes with sport. Football clubs around the country will suffer financially, especially those in the lower leagues who struggle to compete as it is.

But the risk placed on the public by playing the games is simply not worth the reward. We are certainly in for an interesting few weeks in the footballing world as we see how our leading bodies respond.

Rotherham still have at least 11 games to play in League One, and it is possible that none of these will end up taking place. We are entering uncharted territory in sport and the top brass of the EFL are really going to be tested in the coming weeks.

Whatever they do decide to do for the rest of the season, it is vital that people’s safety comes first over any greed from those at the top of the game. We all love football, but health should always first over anything else.

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